Friday, April 06, 2007

Strange Conversation

I hesitate to post, as I don't want to offend, and hope that I really misunderstood a recent conversation. However, I truly don't think I did and I'm quite shocked.

Last week, nurse Carol saw me crocheting. We talked about the foundation and about Emma. I showed her photos and the foundations website. She suggested that I contact the Patient Advocate here at the hospital as she is the one that coordinates donations to see if there is a need here. Carol thought that they had plenty of bereavement clothing but could use memory boxes. Later when Carol had a moment she went to the supply closet and brought me some samples to see, along with the card that they include with the disposable cameras. They supply the families that use a disposable camera to photograph their angel with a card to be given to the photo developer basically warning him/her that the photos are of a deceased infant and to please handle the film with extra special care. I thought that was a great idea.

Yesterday I contacted the Patient Advocate and had to leave a voice mail. I explained that I was a patient and run a non-profit and wondered if the hospital was in need.

A few hours later, she called me back. When I answered, she told her name and asked if she could help me. So, I once again explained why I was calling, but in more detail. This time I mentioned Carol. The P.A. interrupted saying that "She wasn't supposed to show me examples." I was dumbfounded and stumbled around, I think, for a moment. She then continued to explain that SHE has built the Volunteer Auxillary over the last 15 years and such. I then apologized in a round about way saying that if the hospital wasn't in need then that was great. We want to help where help is needed.

Then, she questioned how much I sold the items for. I was floored. As soon as she realized that I wasn't trying to sell bereavement items, she changed her tune immediately. Our conversation concluded with her saying that she and the social worker would come by my room next week.

Seriously, it was such a strange conversation. Do non-profits really try to sell items to hospitals? How was Carol kindly showing me what they use against the rules? Is this woman hung so hung up on what SHE has done for the last 15 years that she needs to be in control of everything?

In all seriousness, there are too many needs out there to try to donate here even if it's super convenient now. If they don't need items, that is wonderful. Why couldn't she just say that. I'll let you know how the meeting goes next week.

And, on a side note, the items that Carol showed me weren't the best I've seen by far. They were sewn (which you know I LOVE to sew), but the quality wasn't great. They were kimono style with a bonnet and blanket to match. I personally love the basic yoke dress for a girl. In addition, they were nothing compared to the beautiful yarn work many of you have displayed!


Wool Winder said...

It's not always easy to figure out how a conversation can get so offtrack. Some misunderstanding most likely. I'd give her the benefit of the doubt, though she may not deserve it. Who knows what kind of stress she had to deal with that day? Hopefully the visit with the social worker will go much better.

Catherine said...

Hospital politics. Seriously. It's the same way everywhere that I have been trying to promote Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep infant bereavement photography. I think a lot of the nurses and advocates see "progress" as a statement that what they have done in the past just isn't good enough. And yes, I think they can get into a mindset that it is all about them, and lose sight of the fact that it SHOULD be about the grieving families. I try to cut them some slack...this is a relatively new movement...there's going to be some adjustment period. Good luck with your meeting! Your beautiful work will speak for itself.

Anne K. said...

Ditto from me, Candy - we just never know what point of view or past experience people are bringing to any sort of conversation, so I would shrug it off. It has no reflection on your efforts, anyway. As for the "selling" aspect, I think it's still amazing to a lot of people that volunteers would give work away.

minotte's notes said...

What a strange thing, hospital politics. and we would think, it should be the last place where politics thrives. but then again, it infests even the churches, so. . .

in the philippines, where i came from, there was an australian who raised money to buy low-cost anti-biotics to donate to those in need through the biggest government hospital. but even the meds had to be coursed thru the hospital's pharmacy, without records for the australian donor.

so he pulled out and what a lose-lose situation it has become! at least, the australian still holds a center for people to come and get meds.

i pray that politics will not dampen your kind spirit.

all the best for baby boy :)